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Coprocephalic is an internet based brutal death metal band featuring vocalist Larry Wang, most notably of Gorepot and Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, Hsuan Liu also of Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, and Christiani Peluso, ex Cerebral Engorgement. Since their conception they’ve released a promo in 2012, this full-length in early 2013, and recently another promo.
The first thing I noticed about this record is the absolutely abominable guitars, done by Peluso. The riffs; while in most places catchy have very technical finesse to them. Right in the first real track on this record, “Servile Contamination” there is a dissonant riff with off kilter chords and a very convincing sweep to accompany them. Another riff within the same song, while short, gives us an almost ambient feel in the way the riff is played with each string ringing off, and again a similar riff in “Injected with Violent Supremacy” and in many other tracks. In the title track, “Gluttonous Chunks” we have; again a very short, sweep that would be a solo for most bands. Another unmissable use of dissonant riff coupled with sweeping is in the track “Scourging the Obese”. While most of the instances of this combination are short in this record in this track it is significantly longer. In the song “Concrete Exhumation” we see sweeps being a part of a regular riff. Don’t think this record is all dissonance and sweeps though. There are some just crushing slams on this thing, such as the crushing slam in at the end of “Inhuman Neurosis”, a decimating breakdown in “Pavement of a Thousand Torsos” and a slam in “Concrete Exhumation” of which is the only slam in the record to have the staple of slam, the solo guitar lead in.
Some very nice uses of harmonics on this record as well. Most notable a riff in “Inhuman Neurosis” where Peluso incorporates many, many natural harmonics into the riff; employing the same tactic again in “Injected with Violent Supremacy”; the harmonic accents the riffs committing it to memory. In nearly every song Peluso performs the same trick and it doesn’t get stale at any point in the record.
The drumming on this record; programmed by Peluso, are very noticeably programmed. Yet, they never sound manufactured to the point where it takes away from the music itself. The drumming seems to be there merely to keep the guitars in time and to accent the guitar riffs that drive most of this album. The drums do lack in that there are little to no fills. There good have been more fills just to make the drums seem more natural and less robotic. The only real flare the drum programming has is a nice little fill under the sample in the closing track “Embryonal Coagulated Genesis”.
The mixing here is fantastic. You can hear everything; except maybe the bass but no one cares about that. The only thing I can say negative about the record is they use an effect where it sounds as though you’re listening to the track through a phone a lot in the early parts of the album. If you passively listen you wouldn’t notice this at all but if you are listening to review it as I am you notice small things like this. Another fault in the mixing is the bassdrops. If you’re passively listening to this record on your headphones while working you’d never even notice the bassdrops because there is no punch to them. I don’t have the best system for listening to music but on my system the bassdrops merely distort the audio for a mild second and then return to normal as if nothing ever happened.
This is a fine record. A must buy for brutal death fans that like a good old gem in their collection. It doesn’t have many faults and the faults it does have don’t take much if anything away from the overall enjoyment. The work of guitarist, drum programmer Chistiani Peluso is fantastic, the vocal performance, while not standing out much is one of the best vocal performances of the year I’d say.
(Edit 7/30/2014: I've re-written the entire review. My first version of this review contained hollow details and laughable comparisons and metaphors. Let's try this again.)
Out of the depths of Taiwan and California storms two-man brutal death metal machine Coprocephalic, crafting their own unique forge out of a far over-saturated genre. Not only is their music relentlessly heavy and pummeling, but it also tends to be atmospheric and even dares to linger through a bit of deathcore and tech-death territory. Track after track, Coprocephalic stomps their mighty, unforgiving craft through the listener's ears in an adrenaline-soaked death metal onslaught that never slows its gears.
The first thing that struck me on first listen was the immense heaviness of the mix, because holy shit, it's fucking heavy. The guitars in particular have an enormous tone that manages to sound insanely destructive and distortion-laden without sacrificing any of its musicality. And surprisingly, there's no bassist for this album; not that such is a problem, because the guitars themselves sound bass-heavy and thicker than brick walls, simultaneously collapsing and expanding onto itself with every riff. The riffs themselves exchange between more atmospheric, technical passages (akin to the likes of Wormed and later Abominable Putridity) and groovy low-end slams that often intertwine with elements of deathcore breakdowns, similar to Malodorous or Disfiguring the Goddess with more of a legitimate brutal death metal influence. And it's quite surprising as to how far these guys get with that, because the formula never gets tiring. Each song is distinguishable from the others and contains its own recognizably catchy melodies, slams, and technical noodling.
Oh, and did I mention the guitar solos? Sweet baby Jesus, there are guitar solos. They're not too complex or amazing, but they are rather melodic and add some flavor to the (already exuberantly flavorful) mix.
Another distinct element of this album is the vocals. Larry Wang, notably of Gorepot and Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, makes an appearance on this album in better condition than he's ever been in. Larry utilizes an innumerable plethora of diverse styles that sometimes becomes difficult to believe are all coming from the same person. The vocal range presented here is quite astonishing, speedily interchanging from gurgling low grunts to squealing croaks to angry, gurgling guttural growls that bring to mind the thought of a dirty gutter attempting to speak.
Might I also mention the lyrics? They're rather poetic for brutal death metal, and take something of a semi-philosophical approach to the way they tend to describe things (refer to "Pavement of a Thousand Torsos" and "Embryonal Coagulated Genesis" for the best examples of this).
The production here is also a definite up-factor. Every part of every song is crystal clear, minus the guitar solos - which could have been at a slightly higher volume. As I mentioned, the guitar tone is huge and makes up for the lack of bass. The drums are programmed, but sound relatively real up until the Wormed cover, where the spastic tempo and melody changes call for programming that's a bit out-of-reach with what can be accomplished. However, nothing drowns out any other elements of the mix and the sound is angled at a delicate balance that allows all of this album's greatest factors to shine like they should.
Overall, this is definitely something that death metal fans should check out, as it seems the underground are already bowing before Coprocephalic's outstanding originality. Favorite tracks: Gluttonous Chunks, Scourging the Obese, and Embryonal Coagulated Genesis.
Oh my god, someone finally did it. Someone finally made a modern slam/deathcore album that avoids every single negative stereotype about both genres, brings the best of both worlds to the table and ends up sounding absolutely amazing in the process. Dear god, this is good. Seriously, do you understand what this release means? Over the past two years I have sat through boring slam band after boring slam band trying to find something worthwhile. I have suffered through countless Russian bands' boring and awful slam routines, I have suffered through bands who thought nu-Pathology was the fucking be-all, end-all of brutal death metal and that the genre didn't need to do anything else for the rest of its lifespan. I have sat through Indonesian bands just... well, being Indonesian, I guess. The occasional band like Epicardiectomy or Raped by Pigs would occasionally show up to reinforce my faith in the genre, but it's hardly much reassurance when more and more bands keep shitting out stuff you don't like regardless of how often you tell them not to.
And then this motherfucker shows up.
It's funny, because the way I keep praising this, you'd think it's another Epicardiectomy or Cephalotripsy in terms of quality. It's not. Very close, but no cigar, not yet. It's just that Coprocephalic have managed to make what is arguably one of the best albums to ever exist in the brutal death metal spectrum, while playing in the ballfield of all the negative BDM stereotypes I absolutely despise. It's all here - the polished guitar tone, the deathcore influences (hell, those are even amplified here), the ridiculous slam/breakdowns - and none of it is watered down. Gluttonous Chunks is a masterpiece, not despite its adherence to all the stuff that makes the other bands terrible or mediocre, but because of it. Everything here is damn near perfectly executed, and if all the modern-day slam bands had this firm of a grasp on infectious songwriting I would be buying banners that say "SUPPORT DEATHCORE/SLAM INTERGENRE RELATIONSHIPS" and putting them on my front lawn.
But yes, the music. Okay, take The Cleansing by Suicide Silence, now add Wormed influences and the occasional outright slam mixed into the songwriting fray. That's about as close to comparisons as you can get with Gluttonous Chunks: saying it's "like Visceral Disgorge but way better" or whatever won't efficiently get my point across. What I'm basically trying to say is that Coprocephalic use the absolute best elements of every single piece they bring to the table. The heavier, chunkier parts of the music are almost a perfect mix of breakdowns and slams - if you took a breakdown out of its bouncy rhythm pattern and forced it to constantly push forward like a bulldozer, you'd get something like what Coprocephalic use for slams on this album. They are huge, which is partially due to the pristine, clear but still substantially weighty guitar tone and partially due to the fact that the band are obviously just really, really great at writing slams. They're always chunky as fuck, loaded with groove, and rely more on deathcore chords over straight eighth beats (sort of like the kind Suicide Silence use when they're not exactly in breakdown mode, but not using a tremolo riff either) than mere triplet patterns. Any rhythmic variation you find here is more likely to be syncopated and deathcore-influenced (that is to say, "dee, dee, dee, doo-DOO doo-DOO, dee dee") than based around conventional slam rhythms, and it works amazingly - at this point I'd honestly love to see bands do it more often, as long as they stick to Coprocephalic's adaptation of it. One more thing about the slams - they can be fast, even without any blast beats going on top of them. It's amazing.
About three-quarters of the album are stompy deathcore chugs and slams, which leaves the other fourth open to Coprocephalic's Wormed-influenced passages. These aren't quite as astounding as the more rhythm-based aspects of Gluttonous Chunks, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't brilliant as well. When the album gets more technical, serious shit starts going down - the guitars give up on their breakdown sessions for a moment and explode into a dazzling fury of deathcore riffs with precise bits of spacey, atmospheric chords and licks jammed into specific parts of the riffs. Meanwhile, the drums go into a mode of spastic, insane blasting paired off with quick, ridiculously speedy fills that help to break the chaos up into somewhat more digestible pieces. It'd be almost Enmity-esque if the band were dirtier; in its current state it's just an amazingly spacey, chaotic exercise in making riff passages that are simultaneously nearly impossible to follow, and full of captivating and interesting rhythms and melodies. Taking Wormed's latest album Exodromos into account, it'd be entirely fair to say that they are most certainly out-Wormeding the real Wormed at this point. It's that cool.
Apparently Coprocephalic use the vocalist from Gorepot, who I haven't listened to in a good long while but I seem to recall them being a good band. Listening to Gluttonous Chunks certainly reinforces that, at least in regards to the band's vocals - Coprocephalic show off a constant collage of various vocal textures that are somehow all from the exact same guy. Some are the Angel Ochoa-like purrs that have become somewhat of a staple for slam, except they're exceptionally executed; other vocal styles include croaks that sound something like "bork bork", vicious alien screams, and a clean, sufficiently wet pig squeal. There are rarely fewer than two voices gurgling at once, and the band's approach to vocals - which I like to think of as brutal death metal's answer to gang shouts - is simultaneously unique and, if you'll pardon me using such a relatively empty term, absolutely badass.
Saying this is "great" would be like saying that the universe is "pretty decent-sized". I haven't had this much fun with a BDM album since I heard Epicardiectomy's debut full-length for the first time. This is astonishing on pretty much any aspect of criticism you can realistically hurl at it as a brutal death metal album. My only complaint, ironically, is that while the band seem to integrate Wormed elements into their sound better than Wormed can nowadays, their cover of Wormed's "Pulses in Rhombus Forms" is pretty underwhelming if you're familiar with the original. They kind of screw up the feel of the really pretty, airy tremolo riff that shows up at around 0:52 in the song, the way they slow down a few riff transitions to make the chugging sections heavier kind of ruins the flow of the song (if anything, the riff transitions would be better sped up), and overall Coprocephalic feel too rhythm-based to capture the mood of a song by a band as fluid as Wormed generally are. But hey, it's not their song, right? And when their original compositions are so consistently solid, it hardly matters in the end. This is good on a scale that you probably can't even imagine until you're listening to it, and will probably end up in my top three releases for 2013 by the time the year draws to an end. Even the album art is worth the price of admission. Buy it now.
P.S. This just so happens to be my 200th review submitted to the website. I'm glad it coincidentally happened to be for an album definitely worthy of such a distinction.